Wolf Creek board mandates consistent school year calendar

Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) trustees have decided not to adopt the “9 for 10” model, instead instituting a less structured approach.

  • Apr. 13, 2010 10:00 a.m.

Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) trustees have decided not to adopt the “9 for 10” model, instead instituting a less structured approach.

In light of financial constraints faced by school divisions across Alberta, WCPS reviewed its priorities and identified ways to respond to financial pressures while maintaining high quality learning environments for all students.

One proposal identified was a modified “9 for 10” school year calendar. The proposal was essentially that students would have school for nine out of every 10 days. The 10th day would be used for professional development for staff.

Another key element of the proposal would be cost efficiencies created by an aligned calendar throughout the division (primarily reduced substitute teacher and transportation costs.)

“This was a difficult and challenging discussion for the Board relative to the budget that was designed by the ministry of education,” said board chair Lorrie Jess. “The new financial reality compels all of us to analyze our current educational structure and still attempt to provide those services we have come to expect in our school division. We trust that our stakeholders will understand the difficult position that has put our board in and accept that tough decisions come with our leadership role.”

The board has decided to mandate the alignment of the differentiated days that currently exist in the school division. School sites had determined their differentiated school calendar relatively independent of other schools in the division. While it has been recommended that schools co-ordinate their calendars with other schools in their area, it has not been mandated that this differentiation process be consistent across the jurisdiction.

Under this new proposal schools could still differentiate according to the hours they have amassed through transportation structures but would do so by placing these days onto a standardized framework. This would allow for greater inter-school collaboration and reduce the need for substitute teacher time for divisional professional development opportunities. Some savings would accrue in the transportation system as well, although to a lesser degree than with a true “9 for 10” calendar.

The guiding points that led to this decision were:

• There were concerns around the division’s ability to provide a strong learning environment at the high school level if it went with the “9 for 10” model. This was based the site’s ability to meet the 1,000 hours of instruction in a manner that benefited all students.

• The impact on the division’s support staff under the “9 for 10” model might be too onerous at this time. A more in-depth analysis would have to be undertaken to ensure that the proposal did not unfairly affect their working status in the division.

• It was also recognized that approximately 12 schools were already at (or close) to a “9 for 10” configuration, a fact that allowed the division to feel confident that it could align the differentiated days, provide the collaborative framework and not negatively affect its high schools.

• The board saw this as an interim or exploratory step to a more structured calendar in the years ahead. It did see the merit in a proposal such as the “9 for 10” model but felt that the school division may need more time to analyze its potential and investigate some additional concerns.

Just Posted

Town of Ponoka to hand over fire services to county

Council voted unanimously to have the county take over May 1. County meets Thursday morning

Ponoka’s bull rider Zane Lambert takes Red Deer

Lambert kicked off the CPRA 2018 season with two solid rides

Library funding increase request approved by Ponoka County

County agrees to the $60,000 request, up from $45,000 from the previous year

Ponoka town council deemed not liable by judge

Town deemed to be in compliance with borrowing bylaw requirements

PHOTOS: Family Day in Ponoka

Ponoka and area families took in the many fun events on Family Day

WATCH: Ponoka Warriors volleyball host largest ever Family Day tournament

Five divisions, 32 teams participate in 12th annual Family Day tournament

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Alberta takes out full-page ads in B.C. over strained relationship

It’s the latest move between the two provinces over progress on Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

Toddler swept away in Ontario floods

Toddler missing as flooding forces thousands from their homes in Ontario

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

BC Wine Institute to take legal action against Alberta

The BC Wine Institute to seek injunction to protect B.C. wineries from Alberta wine ban

Ponoka Stampeders out after opening round loss

Two bad Stamps’ starts gives Blackfalds series victory in playoff series

Trudeau reiterates denial of Sikh separatists in cabinet, condemns extremism

“We will always stand against violent extremism, but we understand that diversity of views is one of the great strengths of Canada.”

Canada wins gold in men’s ski cross

Leman earns redemption with ski cross gold; Homan out early

Most Read